Facts and Claim of Liability:
Plaintiff was working as a telecommunications supervisor when, on August 21, 2000, she went to see defendant internist, complaining of pain in her legs and being unable to walk more than a few blocks without having to stop for rest. Defendant internist performed a Doppler test, using a hand-held machine and blood pressure cuff. He concluded that plaintiff was suffering from some degree of vascular occlusion in both lower extremities. However, defendant internist referred plaintiff to a vascular surgeon instead of a hematologist.
The vascular surgeon performed more tests, and diagnosed plaintiff with peripheral vascular disease, which he characterized as “non-limb threatening” and which could, he said, be managed medically with Pletal (Cilostazol).
In the summer of 2002, plaintiff, because of work, was living in Virginia. In September, she went to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she saw another vascular surgeon. Plaintiff was told that she had severe blockage in both legs, and needed an amputation. Plaintiff decided to get a second opinion, and went to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was again told she needed an amputation. On November 15, 2002, her right leg was amputated above the knee. Two weeks later, plaintiff was discharged from the hospital. She checked in to a nursing home in the Bronx for rehabilitation of her right leg.
However, shortly after she arrived at the nursing home, she began to experience pain and discoloration in her left leg. She was transferred to Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center, where her left leg was amputated above the knee.
Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald filed suit in Bronx County Supreme Court, arguing that defendant doctor was negligent in failing to advise patient of the nature of her medical condition, and in failing to follow up to ensure that the plaintiff was seen in follow-up arterial flow studies, both of which resulted in severe and permanent injuries to plaintiff. Ultimately, Fitzgerald & Fitzgerald settled with defendant for a total of $912,500.00.